It is the eighth location for the 13-year-old Philadelphia-based chain, which has won 39 medals in American and international beer competitions. Five of those medals were won by Chris LaPierre, 37, a Medford native who moves over from Iron Hill’s location in West Chester, Pennsylvania, where he was head brewer, to take the same position.
LaPierre won two golds at the Great American Beer Festival, for his Belgian Saison and for Cannibal, a golden Belgian strong ale in the style of Duvel Red, but “spicier, with more complexity and a lot of tropical fruit,” LaPierre says. His Bourbon Baltic Porter and Ironbound Ale won GABF bronze.
Cannibal also took a silver at the World Beer Cup, in which American brews go head-to-head, so to speak, against the best of Europe and elsewhere. “A silver at the Beer Cup is almost better than the gold at the Great American Beer Festival because the competition is international,” LaPierre says. An avid bicyclist, the brewer named Cannibal after five-time Tour de France champion Eddy Merckx, a Belgian who was known as the Cannibal for the way he devoured his opponents.